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Feature: Primetime

The Apprentice

Chance of a lifetime The brightest and best of America’s financial whiz-kids compete for the ultimate prize – the winner will get a job as an apprentice to billionaire American Donald Trump.

Who could have imagined that the most successful American TV series this season would star mega-businessman Donald Trump? The reality show The Apprentice has become a phenomenon, presenting 16 candidates, both MBA graduates and street entrepreneurs with no college education, all vying for the position as Donald Trump’s apprentice. Each week they face tasks that incorporate various aspects of business: sales, marketing, promotions, charities, real estate deals, finance and advertising. At the conclusion of each programme, the contenders must face Trump in his boardroom, where he informs one of them, ‘You’re fired,’ a catchphrase that has swept America.

Why would one of the richest men in the world want to do a TV series? “Over the years I’ve been asked to do reality shows,” Trump admits. “Every network has wanted to do a show where they follow me around and watch me making deals, but it was never compelling to me. I like the concept of The Apprentice. It shows the roughness and the toughness of New York City. The city just eats these kids up and spits them out. I love New York, I love business, entertainment and education, and those are the four real qualities that this show has.”

by Judy Sloane

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TV Zone #176

Photo © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #176
June 2004
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